Thursday, April 9, 2020

We Don't Truss Lawyers

Thomas Keller is a multiple 3-star Michelin Guide chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author. He owns many restaurants, Bouchon, Per Se, and Ad Hoc; but, The French Laundry in Yountville, California is where the magic began. He has received numerous awards, and is considered one, if not the Best American Chef. No wonder his recipe for Mon Poulet Roti is hands-down the best roast chicken EVER! Believe it or not, it is also the simplest I've ever made. The keys to this recipe is a dry chicken, a "rain" of salt, and being able to truss a chicken.  Can't truss?  Watch this:

Got it?  Now make this juicy, crispy, delicious chicken!

Mon Poulet Roti:

Serves 2 to 4


For the chicken:
One 2-3 pound fresh chicken (if the chicken is slightly larger, like 4-5 pounds, roast it for an additional 15 minutes per pound in the oven)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced thyme (optional)

To serve:
Unsalted butter (optional)
Dijon mustard


Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. (I also recommend leaving the chicken uncovered overnight in the fridge!) When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. (I place my cast iron skillet in the oven at this time.)  The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Salt and pepper the cavity, then truss the bird.

Now, salt the chicken-I like to rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it's cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin.  Season to taste with pepper.

Place the chicken in a saute pan (Careful! The pan is hot!) or roasting pan and, when the oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. I leave it alone-I don't baste it, I don't add butter; you can if you wish, but I feel this creates steam, which I don't want. Roast it until it's done, 50 to 60 minutes.  Remove it from the oven and add the thyme, if using, to the pan. Baste the chicken with the juices and thyme and let it rest for 15 minutes on a cutting board." (When I make this, I don't baste the chicken until cut and served, otherwise it ruins the crispy skin.)

Remove the twine, carve it up how you like it (with bones/deboned), and serve with fresh butter to slather over the meat (optional) and Dijon mustard on the side.  I like to serve this with mashed potatoes or Gratin Dauphinois) and those amazing french green beans called harticot vert. You won't believe how good this is!  Thank you, Keller!


  1. This is the best and easiest recipe for roast chicken! No one believes that it's just a dry chicken with salt and pepper! Thanks for teaching me how to truss! My family loves it so much that I make it at least once a week! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  2. I agree with Amy L/CA, this is the best and easiest roast chicken. I have increased the amount of thyme we rub on the outside of the chicken, and throw a few sprigs inside the cavity. The flavor is amazing.
    Thanks Robin!

    1. Thanks fattyb! Thanks for visiting my site!